AALA’s Unit J Contract is a binding legal agreement between AALA Unit J and the Los Angeles Unified School District. Article XXI of the Contract defines the role and responsibilities of Job Stewards. Their key duties include:
Representing an employee, upon request, in a grievance meeting as provided for in Article V, Grievance Procedure and Article X, Evaluation and Disciplinary Procedures
Coordinating union meetings during unpaid time
Posting union notices on a bulletin board space designated for such purposes
Reporting unsafe or unsanitary conditions at the worksite
In order to fulfill these responsibilities, Job Stewards have legal rights under the National Labor Relations Act. These include the right to be treated as an equal by management when conducting union business, specifically, when representing members. They have the right to be free from retaliation for union activities, the right to request information needed to process a grievance and the right to organize worksite actions. They may not be held to a higher standard than other employees in similar positions.
Ultimately, the Steward’s job is to work with members to improve everyone’s work life, not simply to do things for individual members. Their most important role is to build a united, organized and involved membership.